Introductory courses in biology and chemistry are recommended (and often required) before students take AP Biology. This pre-assessment is an excellent way to get an idea of which concepts your AP Biology students remember from their previous classes. Questions related to biochemistry, cellular biology, genetics, evolution, ecology, and anatomy are included. Each question is assigned a "dollar" value, and students attempt to earn as many “dollars” as they can in this millionaire challenge. I give this pre-assessment to my students the first week of school. There are 31 questions.
Time Requirement: Students take on average 40 minutes answering these questions silently. (If they do not remember how to answer a question or lack the prerequisite knowledge for a question, advise them to move on to the next question). After students complete the pre-assessment, I discuss the answers with them and have them grade their work in a different colored pen. They then add up the dollar values on the questions they got correct, to determine how much “money” they earned on the game show.
Other Notes: While it is unlikely students will think you have millions of dollars to actually award, be sure to explain that the dollars in this game are mythical. Bragging rights, in addition to a candy reward are the incentives I use on this activity. You should also remind your students that the purpose of this activity is to show off what they already know so that you can best teach them. This will not be graded as a normal test; rather they will receive participation points for completing the activity and taking it seriously. Remind them that it is OK if they do not remember how to answer a question. Be sure to review their answers carefully so that you can see which concepts from previous courses they seem to remember well, and which concepts they do not.
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